Admittedly, it’s rather easy to perceive brunch as that of a healthy one.
“It’s breakfast and lunch together,” Brunchloverx69 piped up. “It’s sure to be less calorie-expending than having breakfast and lunch separately!”
And to a certain extent, there’s indeed a grain of truth in Brunchloverx69’s statement. After all, you’re technically having one meal as compared to two, so you should technically consume fewer calories.
But here’s the thing; are you truly consuming a ‘healthier’ version of brunch? Because if you’re having atas brunch food like souffle pancakes over here…
You might be better off having breakfast and lunch separately after all.
According to CNA Lifestyle, brunch food isn’t exactly good for you, whether nutrient or calorie wise…
And they’ve found the experts to explain it all.
Experts Reveal Why Brunch Food Like Souffle Pancakes Are Bad For You
According to Patsy Soh, a dietician with Mindful Nutrition, brunch food does contain loads of nutrients.
Whether they’re good for you, however, is a different thing altogether.
“They are usually abundant in simple carbohydrates and fats from the cream, fried items, and processed meats such as sausages, bacon and ham,” she said, adding that sauces, processed proteins and syrups contain high salt and sugar content as well.
As for whether there’s any “worst” brunch food item you could possibly order, the experts in question believe there’s none.
Each Dish Has A Downside
As each dish reportedly has its nutritional downside, with some containing high sodium levels and others sky-high sugar content.
Souffle pancakes, for instance, might be a huge fan favourite with their Instagram-worthy aesthetics and a fragrant, pillow-soft stack of goodness, but they’re hardly the most nutritious post-workout meal in the history of mankind.
This mouthwatering dish packs over 300 calories and 19.3g of sugar per serving, and that’s before the syrup (each tablespoon of syrup contains around 14g of sugar) and extra scoops of ice-cream.
“Sugar should contribute to no more than 10 per cent of your total calorie intake, which translates into approximately 40g to 55g, or eight to 11 teaspoons daily,” said dietitian Lau Chong Ying from Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Department of Nutrition and Dietitian.
Also, Lau adds, your fat intake should not exceed 35 per cent of your total calorie intake. That would mean no more than 770 calories for men, and 630 calories for women. And a tablespoon of that hollandaise sauce you love so much?
80 calories of fat.
Brunch dishes that contain processed meats should also be taken into consideration, as they routinely represent literal sodium bombs.
According to Lau, one bacon rash constitutes 192mg of sodium, while a piece of sausage has 1,020mg. The recommended sodium intake for a person, on the other hand, falls around 5g a day, and 2g if the person has high blood pressure, heart failure or chronic kidney disease.
How To Make Brunch Slightly ‘Healthier’
If you read through this article with a ghostly, pale-white complexion on your face, fret not;
You don’t have to quit having brunch altogether.
Instead, here are a few tips (courtesy of Soh and Lau) to make your brunch a whole lot more fulfilling, both taste and nutrient wise.
Top these jiggly pancakes with fruits instead of cream and butter, and you’ll have gone a long way in preserving your caloric intake and nutrient content.
Avocado Toast with Eggs
“Avocado is a source of monounsaturated fats – commonly known as good fats, while eggs contain protein and toast, carbohydrates,” said Lau.
To make it even more nutritionally empowering, ask for wholemeal bread and a serving of salad. Also, skip the processed meats such as bacon.
Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce on toast
“Hollandaise sauce contains high amounts of saturated fats as well as sodium. Try to take it in moderation,” said Lau.
To improve the nutrient content of this dish, have some fruit on the side or toast made with fibre-enhanced bread, to up your dietary fibre intake.
Like the souffle pancakes, fruits with french toast might be the only way to salvage a dish full of powdered sugar and dousing of syrup.
Croque Madame or Monsieur
Whether it’s “madame” or “monsieur” (both are created with rich bechamel sauce, cheese and ham but croquet madame boasts an additional fried egg), it spells out one thing:
Lots of saturated fats and sodium for you.
Also, the World Health Organisation has noted links to colorectal and stomach cancers from eating processed meat (including ham), so you might want to consume those Madames and Monsieurs on a more… infrequent basis.
While an English Breakfast constitutes ‘healthier’ staples such as mushrooms and tomatoes, the way they’re prepared might mean a world of difference.
“Pan-frying food may require a larger amount of oil than boiling, steaming, grilling, stewing, broiling or blanching,” Lau said, referring to how vegetables are prepared. Also, the bacon and sausages in the breakfast set are loaded with carcinogenic nitrates, sodium and saturated fat.
For a more complete English breakfast, you might be better off with a plain omelette or poached eggs with smoked salmon, salad and whole grain toast on the side.
Make no mistake; brunch is entirely legal. After all, there must be a reason why the term’s coined up in the first place.
Even still, however, we should consider that save for healthier options like avocado toast with eggs, normal ‘appealing’ brunch options would tend to lean on the unhealthier side. And so it’s best to moderate yourself when it comes to the intake of those particular dishes. 🙂
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